Vietnam and China call for maritime disputes to be settled

By VnExpress, Reuters   April 2, 2018 | 08:15 am GMT+7
Vietnam and China call for maritime disputes to be settled
China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) is greeted by Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 1, 2018. Photo by Reuters/Kham

The two countries also pledged to 'promote cooperation at the sea' and 'hold talks on joint exploitation' during a meeting in Hanoi.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said on Sunday that Vietnam and China should settle their disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures and according to international law.

"Vietnam's rights and benefits should be respected under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," Minh told reporters after a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Hanoi.

He expressed concerns over "elements" that would risk escalating tension and instablity in the region, urging more bilateral talks to build maritime cooperation for mutual development. 

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said that the two countries should work on joint exploitation in the waters, known internationally as the South China Sea.

“We have agreed that settling the maritime issues is extremely important for the healthy and sustainable development of bilateral relations,” he said.

China claims 90 percent of the potentially energy-rich maritime territory and has been building on and militarizing rocky outcrops and reefs in its waters.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also lay claim to parts of it, through which about $5 trillion of trade passes each year. Vietnam is the country most openly at odds with China over the issue.

“The two sides should better manage disputes through talks and refrain from taking unilateral actions that may further complicate and expand the disputes,” Wang said.

Wang and Minh said bilateral relations had seen positive development, with rising trade and investment as the two neighbors further opened up markets to each other. Bilateral trade exceeded $100 billion last year.

 
 
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